By Shoshanna McCollum
FAIR HARBOR, NY: One house is destroyed and three damaged after a swift blaze engulfed a residential structure within the Fire Island community of Fair Harbor on Saturday night, April 30, 2016. Mutual aid alarms were activated at 8:07 p.m., mobilizing neighboring Fire Island community companies including Kismet, Saltaire Ocean Beach and Ocean Bay Park. Five mainland fire departments including Bay Shore and West Islip also responded to the call, traveling via special transport arranged by Fire Island Ferries, Inc.
Glowing flames and hot embers were visible from the Great South Bay, much to the concern of evening commuters and across the shore on greater Long Island. Breezy wind conditions hampered containment efforts, as three neighboring structures to the north, south and west sustained contact damage. The site was declared under control at 10:45 p.m. Two firefighters at the scene were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital via ambulance exchange for observation.
The house was reportedly vacant, but some witness observations suggest that there had been activity within the Elm Walk summer home earlier that day, perhaps to prepare it for occupation with Memorial Day weekend approaching at the end this month. While still under investigation, the fire is not deemed suspicious at this time. The last serious structure fire in Fair Harbor took place just under two years ago in 2014, which resulted in the death of two house pets as well as loss of the home itself.
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